Published: Wed, February 07, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Governor signs order aimed at protecting net neutrality in Hawaii

Governor signs order aimed at protecting net neutrality in Hawaii

Governor Murphy's Executive Order responds to a recent decision by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to rescind net neutrality and potentially limit access to the Internet, allow companies to pay more to have their content treated favorably, or force consumers to pay more to access websites.

The new mandate is comparable to ones signed recently by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and Montana Governor Steve Bullock, who also aim to restore the 2015 open Internet rules.

Murphy is following the lead of his counterparts in NY and Montana, who are pushing back on the FCC order, which also expressly preempted states from implementing their own net neutrality regulations.

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Messages left with internet service providers and the state's telecommunications association haven't been returned. "Customers of smaller ISPs will not only continue to have an open internet, but also they will have greatly enhanced access as ISPs upgrade their networks and roll out new services".

"Our intent is clear", Murphy said.

The lawsuit alleges that the FCC has departed, without justification, from a long-standing policy and practice of defending net neutrality while either misinterpreting or ignoring evidence in the record of potential harm to consumers and businesses. "We've said, 'Not New Jersey, '" Murphy said in a video statement posted on Twitter. "Many, if not most, if not all we've spoken to have said they would adhere as a sort of matter of honor to net neutrality". Proponents of net neutrality argue it is necessary to maintain a fair marketplace for internet businesses. But that classification was repealed by the FCC in December.

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New Jersey will only agree to new contracts with internet providers who observe net neutrality under an executive order issued by Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy.

The lawsuit was filed in January by the attorneys general of New York, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and the District of Columbia.

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